Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Bigga Baby news may have trumped Lil Wayne’s closing performance at the VMA’s but it definitely didn’t put a damper on album sales.
According to Billboard, Wayne’s 9th studio album ‘Tha Carter IV’ went on sale at midnight following his MTV VMA performance and is already estimated to sell between 700,000-850,000 copies in the first week. In comparison, Jay-z and Kanye West’s highly anticipated collaborative album ‘Watch The throne’ sold much less, with 436,000 copies in it’s first week.
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Our friends over at MTV’s RapFix, makes a few key point when comparing and contrasting how the two albums airplay and promotion strategy affected their overall sales.
Promotion: “When placed side-by-side WTT and Tha Carter IV couldn’t look more different. Jay and ‘Ye’s roll-out was unconventional as far as rap albums go. There was no big radio single or video that led up to the album and the Throne‘s exclusive digital drop prevented the CD from being in physical stores for a full four days. Wayne on the other hand, will be releasing digitally and physically simultaneously and he is currently ruling the airwaves.”
Airplay: Wayne’s acoutsic crossover single “How to Love” held the #6 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 song chart (She Will debuted at #3) and his previous C4 singles, “John” and “6 Foot 7 Foot,” have faired well on radio. For the Watch the Throne roll-out, airplay wasn’t much of a focus. Instead, Jay stated in multiple interviews that he’d rather the fans digest the album as a whole upon its release. Just as intended, WTT avoided a leak and fans heard the album as Kanye and Hov had planned. Weezy’s LP on the other had will most likely leak as all albums do once it goes to the printing plant and that will no doubt affect sales figures.
Radio: As far as radio goes, Watch the Throne hasn’t produced blockbuster singles yet, but now that it is released, sky is the limit. The album’s first drop “H.A.M.” peaked at #23 on the Billboard charts, still respectable but not quite as impactful as hoped. The Throne’s second drop, “Otis,” was released with plenty of fanfare behind it, peaking thus far at #5 on Billboard‘s Top 100 chart. A third single, “Lift Off,” which features vocals from Jay-Z’s wife, Beyoncé, is said to be going for radio adds soon.
Back in 2008, Wayne’s previous album, ‘Tha Carter III’ sold over a million copies it’s first week, which made it one of only 17 albums to have sold a million in one week since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. His 2010 albums ‘Rebirth’ and ‘I Am Not A Human Being’ (released while he was in jail), however, only sold 176,000 and 110,000 copies in it’s first week, respectively.